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Colin Powell, AP photo
Colin Powell: Stark warning
On Sunday 13 April, Sir David travelled to Washington to interview the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell; and in London, Peter Sissons interviewed the Iraqi politician Dr Ahmad Chalabi.

The Sunday newspapers were reviewed by the columnist Alice Thomson, from the Daily Telegraph, and General Sir Peter de la Billiere, the commander of British forces in the first Gulf War.

Colin Powell told Sir David that Syria must not provide a safe haven to Saddam Hussein and other members of his regime.

He said: "Syria has been a concern for a long period of time. We have designated Syria for years as a state that sponsors terrorism, and we have discussed this with the Syrians on many occasions.

"We are concerned that materials have flowed through Syria to the Iraqi regime over the years. We are making this point clearly and in a very direct manner to the Syrians.

"We hope the Syrians will respond accordingly."

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Mr Powell added: "Also, we think it would be very unwise ... if suddenly Syria suddenly becomes a haven for all these people who should be brought to justice who are trying to get out of Baghdad. It seems to me that Syria would not find it in its interests ... (if) Syria would become a place of haven for people who should be subject to the justice of the Iraqi people."

He also told Sir David that the people of Iraq would choose their future government in democratic elections.

"The United States has not anointed anyone to be the future leader of Iraq or to be the leader of the interim Iraqi authority. We believe very strongly that the Iraqi people and the representatives of the Iraqi people should do that. We are not in the business of installing the next president of Iraq."

Mr Powell said that Iraq's progress toward democracy could be an example to countries such as North Korea and Iran, which "have systems which are certainly not friendly to democratic principles, who have supported terrorist activities over the years, and who have been developing and even possess weapons of mass destruction.

"Iraq can become an example - of a nation that can now use its treasure to develop an economic system and a political system that will make them welcomed into the family of nations and become a responsible player in the region," he said.

Click on the highlighted links to read the full transcripts.

Meanwhile, Dr Chalabi told Peter Sissons that the United States should support the Free Iraqi Forces throughout Iraq to stop the looting and "to get de-Baathification going right away".

He said there were three things that needed to be done: "First the leadership of the opposition that was elected ... must now be brought into the picture completely, consulted and play an important role in the choice of the Iraqi interim authority because they represent political forces on the ground which are very important and which can make an important contribution to peace and security in Iraq.

"The second thing, co-operation from the United States, from the coalition, from Great Britain, with the free Iraqis, and with the leadership of the opposition to work through agreements and to demonstrate to the Iraqis that this is not an occupation but rather a liberation.

"And the third thing is that we must immediately start developing the basic services and providing assistance and aid to people so that they can feel that there is a difference after Saddam.

"And I think, very importantly, we must proceed with great speed and determination with the de-Baathification. We must uproot the Baath Party from the fabric of Iraqi society."

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